They say that ringing can appeal to all ages, all levels of fitness and all levels of ability, and that was proven on our M1 course on 30th July. A wonderfully varied bunch of eleven of us met at All Saints Church, Writtle, for a course splendidly led by David Sparling and efficiently organised by Beth Johnson. Beth also assisted David with the course and played the part of the (expert) novice in some of the demonstrations.
I think that for most of us it was the first time we'd had an explanation of how to go about teaching, and for many of us - me included - it was probably the first time we'd been properly taught some of the rights and wrongs of fundamental bell handling.
The course was a mixture of theory and practice, with plenty of time set aside for the practical work. David set out a logical progression of teaching from ground zero up to the point when a new learner should be within sight of being safe to ring on their own. I think some of us (me included again) found it challenging to adopt some of the techniques, especially those around putting together parts of strokes when the learner and teacher are on the rope at the same time. But as David said, part of the follow-on is for us potential teachers to practice these new techniques in the privacy of our own bell-towers.
I thought the day was excellent and explained so much I wish I'd known 15 years ago when I started ringing. It'll take some more work on my part now, but I'm looking forward to putting it all into practice and teaching some new ringers in our tower.
Practical advice for teachers, right from the first lesson.